The early blowback Bergmann Simplex of yesteryear (VIDEO)

Ian with Forgotten Weapons takes a look at the very curious but rather simple semi-auto 8mm pistols of Herr Theodor Bergmann.

You do know Bergmann, ja?

A mechanical visionary, he worked on early bicycles, automobiles and repeating pistols– all of which were under radical development at about the same time. Starting in 1893 he seemed to patent a new pistol every year and by about 1899 he moved on to his Simplex model, designed as a concealable pistol for the civilian market.

A straight blowback action, they were chambered for the proprietary if anemic 8x18mm Bergmann cartridge,  utilized one-piece wrap around rubber grips (eat your heart out Pachmayr), had short (under 3-inch) barrels, and detachable magazines of various lengths forward of the grip. Something like a more elegant version of the Tech-9, only from the Victorian era rather than that of Miami Vice.

Though not very many made it out into the wild, Ian is lucky enough to have a “complex” of Simplex pistols, one of the early variant and one of the latter.